The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best rye yet

varda's picture
varda

Best rye yet

A few weeks ago, I made an accidental very sour rye bread, which had an addictive quality to it, but unfortunately failed in every other regard.   So armed with advice from some very helpful people on the forum, I have been trying to make a successful loaf with that same tart and delicious taste.   This I have not yet succeeded in doing.   Yesterday I decided to try to follow the Hamelman pain au levain approach with some notable deviations to see where that would get me.   So I started with the basic pain au levain formula, but upped the ratio of rye to bread flour to almost 1, and even higher on the starter.   Then for the second ferment, I placed the shaped loaves in linen lined bread pans for support, and refrigerated for 20 hours.   Then baked for over an hour in my WFO.   I thought that the long ferment and the higher percentage of rye flour would get me to sour (without turning the entire dough into starter which is why the original bread was such a failure) but it didn't.   But I did get a delicious rye bread with a much higher percentage of rye flour than I have ever dared to try.   So I'm not yet daring to make 100% rye (for which I'll follow Mini Oven when I do) and I still haven't managed to get back the sour without the flopping, but nevertheless I'll pause for a minute to enjoy this very tiny milestone. 



Yes, I scored two different ways - just to see - and got some extra scores besides.   Could have proofed even longer?


Comments

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


...upped the ratio of rye to bread flour to almost 1, and even higher on the starter.



Although I'm not sure what ratio is ment by "1,"  doing both (raising the rye% and increasing the amount of starter) would speed up fermentation and risk overproofing.  Then followed by a 20hr fridge retard.  If there is a high amount of rye flour, and I'm guessing that it was just under 50%, I can't recommended retarding the dough.  The structure becomes very fragile and it is risky.


For more sour, build the starter with rye and let it get good and ripe.  Not a problem if it goes over the peaking time by a few hours.  Use less starter for more sour flavour.  You might even want to try feeding the starter with leftover (a few days old) sourdough rye bread (altus) to increase sour flavor without all the added enzymes that break down the dough structure.  Feed the starter or include some altus into the recipe... it's amazing!


The two loaves above are lovely, I would not proof longer.  The loaves opened up nicely and have a good shape.   I'm into darker crusts so they seem pale to me, in need of a little more oven time and crust color.  Are these the last loaves or the "accidental" sour ones?


Mini (in S Korea)

varda's picture
varda

Hi Mini,  I used the total amount of flour in the Hamelman pain au levain formula, 845g, and broke it up as 445 bread flour, 400 rye flour - so almost 50% rye rather than his 5%.   I kept building the starter with mostly rye flour for around 18 hours before making the dough until it smelled extermely sour, and then used the amount in the pain au levain formula (252g) and added 567g water and 18g salt (both unchanged from P au L)  I thought by the fact that I used a very sour ryw starter, higher rye %, and a long cold ferment period, that I would get a sour bread, but no.  For a previous attempt I did use altus, but felt that the bread had kind of a funky taste to it.   The stale rye I used wasn't funky, but I have kind of a bad feeling about altus at this point.   And yes, the crust is too pale.   I cooked it in my WFO for 1 and a quarter hours and it was cooked enough, but I don't care to mist the oven since I worry that various things will crack, so instead I brushed the crust with water before baking, and maybe that gives it that pale look. I never photographed the extremely sour disaster rye that I made a few weeks ago, but should have because it is probably the ugliest bread I've ever managed to produce and that is with a lot of competition.   So as far as a next step?   Perhaps as you say I need a longer final ripening period for the starter where I let it collapse (I baked at peak this time.) Anyhow, I really appreciate your help.   And from Korea no less. -Varda

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm so messed up with this head cold and jet lag that I mix up the days.  But today I will battle the fridge and find my starter (in there since April) and bring it "back to life" for baking.   I brought some dried walnut rye altus with me for the first loaf. 


Yes, I would have thought your changes would have led to a more sour loaf.  You must have some clue as to why the accidental loaf had more tartness. 


If you are feeding a wheat starter rye, I encourage you to keep this starter going with rye to develop a rye starter further.  I find that with new rye starters, adding walnuts improves the flavour "roundness" to rye bread until the starter is about two to three weeks old.


About your accident, could it be that the water temperature made the difference? Using warm instead of cold water?  or that the starter build was rather wet? (this helps the bacteria grow)  Something as simple as that?  Or that the accident was one loaf instead of two?  It is often said in Austria that larger loaves taste better than smaller ones.


Ugly breads (I laughed when I read that!) happen all the time, taste is #1, beauty in the mind of the beholder and when sliced the crumb comes out and presents itself.  I remember suggesting to someone once that their bread wasn't ugly enough!  One price to pay for higher hydrations is an uglier loaf or at least one that is more difficult to have a nice lifted shape.  As the rye % and sour flavor increases so will the difficulties in shaping.  Don't forget to read other high procent rye blogs.


I've retarded ripe rye starters will no ill effects, for example taking the peaking starter and setting it into the fridge to cool down and use the next day.  Maybe that will give you the tang you're after.  In the fridge the acids will increase in the mature starter.


Mini  :)

varda's picture
varda

Mini, I suppose it's time to pause the experimental approach and do a little research.   Chemistry was never my best subject, but there's always time to learn.   BTW, I love that you travel with altus.   Now there's a rye baker!   -Varda 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and discovered that the acid increases.  Try adding a little to the bild or recipe in the form of apple juice.  Could be interesting.


Mini

varda's picture
varda

Thanks for the pointer.  I'll take a look. -varda